“Let me know if I can ever help!” a friend said as we walked away from each other last Sunday. Her desire to help is genuine. She knows my eleven-year-old son James has level three autism, and I’m his primary caregiver.
Over the next decade, I’ll also become the primary caregiver for my sister who has Down syndrome and for my parents if they need it. In your group of friends, you probably have someone who is a caregiver for a child, sibling, parent, or even spouse. Some like me are long-term caregivers. Others are caregivers for a season as they help a parent or spouse recover from surgery or illness.
If you want to show your caregiving friend that you really care, I’ll share with you the secret I’ve learned to making it happen—the more specific you are the more helpful you are.
Caretakers can feel overwhelmed and are likely suffering from decision fatigue. I’ve read that the average person makes 35,000 decisions a day. Caregivers are making even more. They have to make decisions for themselves and the person they care for. For example, not only do I have to decide what I will wear that day, I have to decide what my son will wear as well. And he won’t grow out of that stage like typical kids do. Even at twelve I’m making this decision for him (and then helping him get dressed).
Source: Special Needs Parenting- Key Ministry